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August 25 Field Notes by Walter Berk

Field Trip to Southside Water Treatment Facility – Dallas, TX


On Aug 25, 2012 the North Central Texas Master Birders class visited the Dallas South Side Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The plant is a large facility with several ponds and drying beds which attract many species of bird life.  Access to the facility is limited to special groups.  Our leader for the day was Chris Runk and the instructor was Jim Peterson.  We checked in at the gate, drove to the main building and signed in.  From there we carpooled to the various ponds.  Several individuals brought their scopes for all to use.  We arrived at the Plant at 7:00 am and finished at 11:30.  The weather was cool and over cast.  It was a little windy towards the end. 


The following students were present:  Diane Berk, Walter Berk, Laura Bunton, Paul Crowe, Janie Henderson, Patricia Jordan, Shannon Love, Julie Mobley, Jane Ramberg, Sahar Sea, Carrie Steingruber, Susan Thrower, Susan Tiholiz. 


The Birding


Chris took us first to Lake C:  There is a small island in this Lake, which was covered with double-crested cormorants, neo-tropic cormorants and lots of cattle egrets.  On the lake we spotted:  roseate spoonbills, lesser yellowlegs, dowitchers (sp),black neck stilt, western sandpiper (reddish on scapulars), great egret, little blue egret, stilt sandpipers, white ibis, tri-colored herons, snowy egrets, spotted sandpipers (molting) and a willet in flight.


The Monafil:  stilt sandpipers, avocets (winter plumage), tricolored herons,  dowitchers, least sandpipers, western sandpiper.


3rd Pond:  lesser yellowlegs, upland sandpipers, killdeer, Canada geese, snowy egrets, stilt sandpipers, yellowlegs (sp) (in flight), chimney swifts,  barn swallows and an American kestral.


Birds seen in concrete water settling basins off of Woodpecker Parkway area: male and female teal, semipalmated sandpipers (our 3rd peep which showed a cleaner face, smaller bills, not a lot of white on breast compared to the Least and Western Sandpipers  that we also saw). Additionally we saw bank swallows (no collar, white chin). Wilson's phalaropes spinning in water (in fall plumage),  1 anhinga flying over,  Killdeer  and upland sandpiper in a field near the settling basins. 


Students reported the birds seen while riding from location to location:  scissor-tail flycatchers, American crows, bank swallows, red tail hawk,  a hummingbird, rock pigeon, plegadis (sp), and Canada geese by the road.  Fourteen other species were also reported as seen flying over the area or swimming at other locations we visited briefly.


A total of 48 species were reported.

See Checklist